Red Flag Warnings

A common question we hear is, “How do I know if I’m at risk for a heart attack, stroke or Type 2 diabetes?”

While comprehensive testing at the Heart Attack & Stoke Prevention Center will give you the most precise assessment of your level of risk, there are a number of red flags we look for, such as:

  • personal or family history of cardiovascular disease
  • personal or family history of heart attacks, strokes or Type 2 diabetes
  • elevated cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels
  • nicotine use in any form and/or secondary exposure
  • psychosocial issues such as depression, anxiety or stress
  • diabetes (risk factor for heart attack and stroke)
  • gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia)
  • high blood pressure
  • abdominal obesity
  • sleep problems
  • age (over 40 for men and over 50 for women)
  • gum disease
  • erectile dysfunction
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • lupus
  • psoriasis
  • migraine headaches
  • gout
  • polycystic ovaries
  • hirsutism (facial hair growth in women)
  • oligomenorrhea (changes in menstrual cycles)
  • Hispanic or African American descent
  • osteoporosis

In addition, genetic factors may come into play, often presenting no outwardly visible or easily recognizable signs of being at risk. That’s where the ground-breaking protocol of the Bale Doneen Method becomes invaluable. By using tests like coronary calcification scanning, AAA screening, ankle-brachial index for peripheral artery disease, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and the carotid intima media thickness test (CIMT), many of the most significant risk factors related to heart attack and stroke can be identified.